How I Used Blogging to Sell Computers.net for $155,000

As promised, I thought I’d share how I sold Computers.net and made the move to TechConsumer. Back in June of 2005, I approached the original owner of Computers.net (who I had known for sometime) and asked what his plans were for the site (which was nothing more than a survey page at the time). As it turns out, he had always been interested in selling it but felt it was worth more than the highest offer he had received at that point: $50,000.

So I offered him a deal he couldn’t refuse: I would put together a blog, generate traffic, get advertising revenue, and then put Computers.net up for sale. In the process, I’d pay him a percentage of the ad revenue generated in exchange for a portion of the final selling price. Since he had done nothing with it since 1995, he figured my offer was worth a shot.

It took nearly two years of almost daily blogging before I felt the traffic was substantial enough for the site to be put up for sale. As much as I had hoped for an easier way, I found no better way to attract readers than to put out decent, consistent content. And just like most bloggers out there, I had regular life to attend to at the same time (which included working as an IT consultant and now my latest endeavor of getting my MBA). But it was a fun little experiment and side hobby.

Once up for sale, the offers started rolling in, though most were either low balls or maxed out before hitting six figures (there was plenty of negotiating back and forth). Remember that, in order for this to work, I had to sell for a price that would allow the original owner to make significantly more than the $50,000 he had previously rejected… and that had to be after he paid me my cut.

Interestingly enough, nearly every single offer above $10,000 wanted to know traffic stats and ad revenue before offering anything more than the initial offer. Many even wanted proof of these numbers in the form of screenshots. A few of the more serious potential buyers rose to the six figure level with the highest maxing out at $155,000.

Incidentally, he was one of those that wanted to know all the traffic and ad revenue details. In fact, he even had the option to use the existing content (which he did at first). But he decided to do his own thing. The point is that he would have not been interested had I not done the “proof of concept” groundwork in advance.

And there you have it, how to more than triple the value of a domain name via blogging. Computers.net ended up being the third highest .net sale (that I could find on record, anyway). Here’s how it stacks up:

Price, Name, Year

$454,500, Sex.net, 2006
$300,000, RealEstate.net, 2007
$155,000, Computers.net, 2007
$150,000, News.net, 2005
$149,000, Mortgage.net, 2006
$118,500, CreditCards.net, 2006

Now what about TechConsumer? Well, I learned a lot my first time around via my 350+ posts (which have all been imported here, by the way, feel free to take a look). But TechConsumer is different. I don’t have anyone else to report to and don’t necessarily have a goal of selling it. I’m more interested in building a fun community. See the newly updated About page and tell me what you think.

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  • http://www.whygoelsewhere.net rob

    2 years of daily blogging, huh? We’ll I’ve got 2 weeks under my belt…but I guess it’s better to do things the way you’re approaching this one – have fun, build a community and let things go where they may. Great post!

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  • http://blog.auinteractive.com markus941

    Do you any estimates on the amount of time you spent blogging? Just to make a fairer breakdown of the real costs incurred.

  • http://blog.mscholars.com Calvin

    Congrats. But wonder who and how did you come out with the price tag.

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Bob Caswell

    Thanks for the great responses! To answer some of the questions:

    The amount of time I spent on the project over the last two years fluctuated, but I’d say the average was around 10 hours per week.

    As for the price tag… I had my minimums. This whole project wouldn’t work unless I could get much more for the site than the $50,000 previously offered. So I was looking for something at least in the low six figures. And I told that to anyone who came with an offer.

    That kind of price, of course, isn’t what buyers came to me with when it was first put on the market. They all started much lower (including the eventual buyer) and only a few went into six figure territory. And that was only after getting my stats (primarily how many visitors and how much per month in ads I was making).

    Combining the above numbers with the intrinsic value of the domain plus the fact that I did this as a one man band in my spare time (meaning that the present value of the future cash flows could be much higher if more than 10 hrs. per week was used)… I was able to show just how powerful blogging plus a decent domain can be.

    As for the who… The buyer has requested that I not disclose that info as of now.

    By the way, if anyone is interested in working with me on this project here at TechConsumer…. Email me:

    TechConsumer at gmail dot com

  • http://facehk.com Alexey

    I think it is a cheap price for such things.
    Don’t U agree?

  • http://deejay.blog.hr DeeJay

    I also think that the price is low for such a good domain name.
    However, enjoy the money. ;)

  • Logan Bobo

    Alexey and DeeJay, I think it was pretty good. As the post says, it was the third highest price ever for a .net domain sale.

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  • http://micahkinz10.wordpress.com Micah

    Could someone help me sell my blog?

    It is worth $ 3,500.

    http://micahkinz10.wordpresss.com

    It’s a Webkinz Blog I built.

  • http:spread-good-health.blogspot.com sonia

    please help me sell my blog! thanks

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